Obesity. Blindness. Cardiac arrest. Stroke. The very thought of these are enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone. Truthfully, no one really wants to deal with these health issues at any point in their lives. They are the stuff of nightmares for most individuals and provide much reason for concern. However, while these health issues by themselves are quite damaging, they are often the by-products of one of deadliest diseases affecting present day man i.e. diabetes.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Diabetes mellitus or just diabetes for short, is “a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood” This disease has plagued our world for what now appears to be an eternity, and has seemingly found its home in many of the countries in our region in particular. In fact, according to the International Diabetes Federation, the Caribbean is one of the places where diabetes is most rampant. There is no doubt that something truly needs to be done about this problem quickly in order to prevent even further damage here in our region.
Here at USC, it is our mandate to ensure that students are not merely academically prepared for the life which they face ahead of them, but that they are physical equipped with the means necessary to live healthy, happy and productive lives. It is for this reason that the school recognized World Diabetes Day on Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, along with the international community. Spearheaded by Ms. Lesia Padmore and a few other students of the Family and Consumer Science Department of the institution, the program sought to raise awareness as to the dangers posed by this disease, as well as present alternative lifestyle choices which could either prevent or curb the disaster that awaits those who are at risk.
From as early as Monday of that week, the Chapel period had been graced with an insightful and interesting presentation, enlightening the student body as to the dangers posed by the disease. The day itself started however, was more hands on as trained professionals and students provided free screening to members of the student body. This included free blood sugar and pressure testing, ensuring that individual’s vitals were where they were supposed to be and that there were no signs of potentially health threatening issues. Adequate health advice was provided by the nutritionists present as they told of healthy alternatives to lifestyle choices generally made by students in particular whilst studying. Later on, students were treated to a fierce fitness burnout regimen, further emphasizing the need for healthy life practices in order to ensure the utmost well-being.
There is no doubt that Diabetes is a definite problem in our society. It is important to continue this conversation on this issue. The recognition of this day however, is certainly a step in the right direction. The creation of awareness on an issue of this magnitude can only do positive things for prevention of the illness at its core. For the more we know, the more we can reasonably do for the building of a brighter, healthier tomorrow